Sunday, July 6, 2014

Rhubarb Risotto


Another great weekend is in the books, great memories with friends celebrating America's birthday and, of course, America's favorite past time, baseball.

I know we did lots of great things, but it all seems to be a bit of a blur right now,  I had a hard time keeping my days straight through such a great extended weekend of festivities.

One night last week, I was a bit perplexed about what to make for dinner.  Couple that with what to make with rhubarb and I was pretty excited when I came up with the idea to make Rhubarb Risotto.

I've had risotto sitting on my shelf for a while now and since it is gluten free, I was looking forward to making it sometime soon, but hadn't decided on what to pair it with.

The rhubarb, on the other hand, was staring me down and I got a gentle "I'm not a big fan of rhubarb" from my husband.

While brainstorming rhubarb recipes, there were, of course, lots of great strawberry/rhubarb crisp idea, of which I plan to make a gluten-free version of this week, there were also a few salsa and other savory type ideas.

Not sure what caused this brainchild, but I was excited about the idea and quite pleased with the result, as was my family!


Here were my starting ingredients, I did decide to add some minced garlic on the front end as well.


To get this party started, 2 shallots, chopped up and 1 tbsp minced garlic was added to a half of a stick of butter, over medium heat in a large dutch oven.

If you don't have shallots, just use onions, the shallots are a milder onion, but don't let that stop you from making this dish.  


While the garlic and shallots were sautéing until translucent (or clear), the broth got started over high heat in a neighboring sauce pan.  I didn't actually have any broth on hand (clearly soup season has passed), so I just used 6 cubes of chicken bouillon and 6 cups of water to serve the purpose.


Next, a good 2 cups of risotto were added to the dutch oven, sautéed and browned a bit themselves, until well coated in butter and giving a shiny appearance.

I think this is generally where wine comes into play…much to my dismay, I must admit that I did not have any white wine at home…not even sure how this happened. 

So, if wine is a requirement in the standard of identity for risotto, then I guess I have to call this something else.  

Life goes on, I can improvise with this best of 'em and I surely wasn't going to let the absence of wine ruin this dish.


Whenever I make risotto, this is what my set up looks like.  The boiling broth on one burner and the dutch oven with the risotto right next to it.

I just use my 1 cup measuring cup, dip it in the boiling broth and transfer it to the risotto about a half of a cup at a time, adjusting the heat between medium and medium low as necessary.

The key is to slowly add the broth and allow it to cook and absorb before the next addition of liquid.


After two or three cups of the broth have been added, the first cup of rhubarb was added.  Ultimately there were 2 cups of chopped rhubarb added to the risotto.

Since I was given the disclaimer before I even knew what I was making with it, I certainly wanted to tread lightly on the side of rhubarb.  

With lots of stirring attention, continue to add the liquid about a cup at a time until it is all incorporated.

At the end, it is ok to leave a little extra moisture because it will continue to thicken as it cools.

The final addition was a 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan, which was a really nice addition to balance out some of the tangy-ness of the rhubarb.

The rhubarb really cooked down and there was almost no piece identification to speak of, the only comment from the kids was that there were some strings, but it surely didn't stop them from having seconds.  

RECIPE:

Ingredients:
2 shallots, chopped up
1 tbsp minced garlic 
1/2 stick of butter
6 cubes of chicken bouillon
6 cups of water
2 cups of risotto
2 cups of chopped rhubarb
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan

Directions:
Sautee shallots and garlic over medium heat.  
Bring 6 cups of chicken broth to a rolling boil. 
Sautee 2 cups of risotto in with the shallots and garlic. 
Add the broth to the risotto about 1/2 cup of liquid at a time, stirring frequently, allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding more.  
Adjust heat to medium low, as necessary.  
Add the rhubarb about half way through the addition of the liquid to allow ample time for the rhubarb to be cooked.  
Finally, mix in Parmesan just before serving, as a perfect finishing touch.